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Conditions for laughter to thrive

Henri Bergson's general observations related to when laughter is most likely to appear and thrive:

  • The comic is strictly human. When laughter is directed at non-humans, we may laugh, but only because we have detected some human attitude or expression.
  • Laughter has no greater foe than emotion. Emotional states like pity, melancholy, rage, etc. make it difficult for us to find humour in the things we might otherwise have laughed at. But humour also appears to serve as a coping mechanism in the face of tragedy or misfortune.
  • Laughter seems to require an echo. It is used in the context of social bonding.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • Henri Bergson, a Fresh philosopher of the late 19th century, was also an author of a famous essay that focused on laughter. Before Bergson, few philosophers had given laughter much thought.
  • Other major thinkers who have offered humourless reflections about humour i...

Social life requires a delicate adjustment of the will and a constant corresponding adaptation between members of a group.

In general, we laugh at people who are either too eccentric or too inflexible to allow for society to evolve and better itself. At the source of the comical are expre...

Everyone who ever had to explain their own joke knows that comedy cannot survive analysis. Once you take humour apart, it loses its effect and dies in the process.

Henri Bergson published his essay on laughter in 1900. He believed that laughter should be studied as &#...

  • Life never repeats itself. Therefore, when there is repetition or complete similarity, we always suspect some mechanism and are potentially witnessing the comical.
  • The comedic value of body-centered humour such as toilet humour and sexual innuendo

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